07/11/10 166 W - + 10 - 9 Factory Efficiency Comes to the Hospital

For your Sunday reading enjoyment, here's a fascinating New York Times article about applying manufacturing and retail industry supply chain practices in hospitals. The context is process and patient flow improvements. The results are reduced costs and improved patient care. Most interesting is the story of a new building. After the new clinical and surgery facility was designed, the hospital staff conducted usability tests on same.

They worked in an empty office building, and used cardboard mock-ups of key locations. They played through various scenarios to test the building's design's effectiveness. The final version "reduced walking distances and waiting times for patients by grouping related facilities together and creating rooms that can be used for more than one purpose." Savings of $20 million and a reduction of 30,000 square-feet.

Process improvement. Testing effectiveness. How well are people using what's been designed for them? Web teams conduct such tests all the time. Such change can be very good. Read the article.

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